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Monday, February 19, 2018

SFO to LAS VEGAS vs MACAU

Goodbye San Francisco and Hello Las Vegas:


Except for maybe ten minutes of civilization, the rest of the ride to Las Vegas, sitting on  the left side, was all desert and mountains, no water and a total wasteland, but beautiful:


Did I mention I got a complimentary upgrade to first class?  The turbulence was a problem, so they only served drinks in my section.  In only one hour and 15 minutes, Las Vegas, which looked very hazy:


The incoming ride was so bumpy that the customers in my United flight actually clapped when the plane landed safely.  Vegas was being buffeted by 40 MPH winds that gusted to 60 MPH, stirring up the dust.  It might get down to 32F Wednesday morning, and not once in 2017 did the temperature reach that low.

Checked into the California Hotel, walked into my room and was almost flabbergasted that it was not so decrepit as I was expecting.  The TV set was not of the cathode ray variety and I would say that the decor was better than the SFO Marriott Marquis, including a very large flat screen set, and at one-third the cost.  Of course, who comes to Fabulous LV to watch TV.  Went down to Redwood Steakhouse for dinner:


That baked potato was the largest I've ever had, with escargots, Caesar salad, Duckwood Decoy Cabernet and a Stella.

Hard to believe that the population of Las Vegas is only around 633,000, for the traffic jam on the Strip is horrendous.  The first time I came here in 1960, there were only 64,000.   On the other hand, Honolulu has 375,000, although Oahu, which is the City and County of Honolulu, is at 953,000.  The difference is that Las Vegas has 42 million visitors/year, as compared to Hawaii with a little over 9 million/year.  Vegas is in many ways Hawaii's 9th island, for at one time it was estimated that 200,000 from the 50th State live here.  I think that's an exaggeration, but people from Hawaii still come here in droves just for the fling.

As dominant as gambling is in Las Vegas, Macau now has gambling revenues over THREE TIMES ($28 billion versus $6.4 billion) that of LV.  Macau is one-tenth the size and sees 30 million visitors/year, two-thirds from China.  Vegas has 135 casinos to only 49 for Macau.  The only thing similar today is that their populations are about the same.  Something doesn't seem right here, but, Macau has 30,000 hotel rooms to 17,000 for Las Vegas  to more than 70,000 for Hawaii.  

Anyway, let me close with this infograph:


If you really want to read the details, click on THIS.

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Incidentally, Tropical Cyclone Gita now appears to be headed for New Zealand:


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